Connect with others who understand.

sign up log in
Resources
About MyEndometriosisTeam
Powered By

Endometriosis and the Stress of Delayed Surgery During COVID-19

Updated on June 09, 2021
Medically reviewed by
Peter J. Chen, M.D.
Article written by
Christine Sprunger

  • Many endometriosis surgeries are being delayed indefinitely due to COVID-19.
  • Endometriosis symptoms and physical pain may be exacerbated by stress.
  • Experts recommend managing stress and working with doctors to find nonsurgical treatments to ease pain.

What To Do If Your Surgery Is Delayed

One of the difficulties facing women with endometriosis is the delay in surgeries used to diagnose and treat endometriosis. According to Endometriosis UK, the majority of endometriosis surgeries are classified as nonurgent and have been delayed indefinitely until hospitals and clinics have a better idea of when they can resume routine operations.

As frustrating and concerning as this situation is, there are things women facing endometriosis can do now to help alleviate pain. Dr. Melanie Marin of New York Physicians urges women to find a doctor who has expertise in nonsurgical treatments. “There are multiple medical options that can be used to treat endometriosis and relieve the debilitating pain while we are waiting for hospitals to reopen for routine business,” she said. For instance, Dr. Marin suggests that medications can be used in combinations to help relieve pain where a single medication has failed.

When To Seek Care for Endometriosis Symptoms

In addition to the pain women may feel as a result of not being treated surgically, endometriosis symptoms may be exacerbated by stress. Endonews reported on a study that showed stress enhanced the size of endometriotic lesions and contributed to inflammation and pain in women with endometriosis who are exposed to chronic stress.

This two-fold situation can make it difficult to know when to seek care at an outpatient clinic or emergency room. Dr. Karli Goldstein, associate surgeon at the Seckin Endometriosis Center, said it’s important to “avoid the ER at all costs unless you have signs of something extremely acute — you are having trouble breathing, high sustained fevers, intractable nausea/vomiting (signs of bowel obstruction), or a history of pneumothorax.”

Dr. Michael Nimaroff, senior vice president and executive director of OB-GYN Services at Northwell Health, reminded women, “Reach out to your health care provider before going to the ER.”

If you are unable to attend a doctor's visit in person, it may be helpful to schedule a telemedicine appointment with your OB-GYN. You can update your doctor about how you're doing while awaiting surgery and discuss any ongoing symptoms.

How To Manage Stress and Endometriosis

Worries about COVID-19, our family and friends, and job or school situations all contribute to stress — which can make symptoms worse. Dr. Lucy Erickson, the director of science programs at the Society of Women’s Health, said, “Taking care of yourself as best as you can, including your mental health, is really important.” Here are some actions you can take to maintain your physical and mental health during this stressful time:

Make a plan to reach out to friends or loved ones by phone or video chat to minimize feelings of isolation. As always, MyEndometriosisTeam offers a support group of over 117,000 women facing the same condition as you, available online.

What are you doing to stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic? How are you keeping stress in check? Please share your ideas in the comments below or post them on MyEndometriosisTeam.

Stay up to date with the CDC’s situation summary about COVID-19.

All updates must be accompanied by text or a picture.
Peter J. Chen, M.D. is a fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Learn more about him here.
Christine Sprunger has a passion for helping people with chronic conditions explore and understand their treatment options, so they can make the best choices about their care. Learn more about her here.

Related articles

Because the physical impact of endometriosis can be all-consuming, you may be dealing with...

How Endometriosis Can Affect Your Mental Health

Because the physical impact of endometriosis can be all-consuming, you may be dealing with...
Those of us living with pre-existing, chronic conditions such as endometriosis have likely felt...

Canceling Is Kindness: Keeping Safe From COVID-19 With Endometriosis

Those of us living with pre-existing, chronic conditions such as endometriosis have likely felt...
This time of the year can be overwhelming with expectations around the holidays, and living with...

Practicing Gratitude With Endometriosis

This time of the year can be overwhelming with expectations around the holidays, and living with...
Living with endometriosis can mean having limited energy, time, and bandwidth. You may find...

Tap Into the Power of Directness: Use "I"

Living with endometriosis can mean having limited energy, time, and bandwidth. You may find...
Keeping promises to yourself is a way to focus on self-nurture. This could mean making a...

Who’s the One Person You Should Always Keep Your Promise To?

Keeping promises to yourself is a way to focus on self-nurture. This could mean making a...
Have you ever put someone else’s needs ahead of your own? We all do it - we’re human, after all....

Putting Yourself First

Have you ever put someone else’s needs ahead of your own? We all do it - we’re human, after all....

Recent articles

If you’re living with endometriosis, you may notice that your symptoms come on strong during...

Managing Endometriosis Flare-Ups

If you’re living with endometriosis, you may notice that your symptoms come on strong during...
Thoracic endometriosis syndrome (TES) is so rare that doctors have a hard time estimating how...

Thoracic Endometriosis Syndrome: What You Need To Know

Thoracic endometriosis syndrome (TES) is so rare that doctors have a hard time estimating how...
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are typically caused by an infection in the urinary system, but...

Can Endometriosis Cause a UTI?

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are typically caused by an infection in the urinary system, but...
Endometriosis is a condition that affects an estimated 1 in 10 women worldwide. Despite how...

Is Endometriosis Hereditary?

Endometriosis is a condition that affects an estimated 1 in 10 women worldwide. Despite how...
Although endometritis and endometriosis are two separate conditions, it’s common for people to...

Endometritis vs. Endometriosis: Understanding the Difference

Although endometritis and endometriosis are two separate conditions, it’s common for people to...
If your doctor has asked you to undergo an endometrial biopsy, you may have questions about the...

Endometrial Biopsy: Why Is It Done? What Does It Show?

If your doctor has asked you to undergo an endometrial biopsy, you may have questions about the...
MyEndometriosisTeam My endometriosis Team

Thank you for subscribing!

Become a member to get even more:

sign up for free

close
MyEndometriosisTeam
Add to your home screen
MyEndometriosisTeam Tap below and then 'Add to Home Screen'